Meditation: What's all the Hype About Anyway?
By Stepy Kamei
If you're a regular reader of health and wellness blogs, or even if you just take your well-being seriously, you probably know about the benefits of meditation, and the many people who recommend it enthusiastically. As someone who deals with high amounts of stress regularly, I've been told more than once by doctors and friends alike that I should give meditation a try. I'd always thank them for the advice, but no matter how many times I heard it, I just wasn't interested in putting in the effort to tame my anxious mind. Finally, I tried a very simple two-minute guided meditation, and I was amazed at how much calmer I felt the rest of the day. I couldn't believe I had been ignoring this simple practice for so long. As I've continued to integrate quick meditations into my everyday life, I've found that it can provide a wide wealth of benefits for my physical and mental health, in addition to calming my stress and anxiety.
Concentration Is Improved; Impulsivity is Weakened
A big part of meditation works to help train and refocus your mind. The mind is a powerful tool, and left to its own devices, it can go dangerous places and leave you feeling tired and uncertain of yourself. As you learn to retrain and tame your mind with quiet meditation, you'll find yourself more likely to check in with your thoughts before you act out of impulse or raw emotion. In time, you'll find it easier to let your mind come back to a centered and grounded place even in times of high stress or distraction.
Poor posture doesn't just look bad; it hurts your body and even your mood as well. Studies have shown people who tend to slump or slouch often have lower self-esteem, and many can show signs of depression. This doesn't even mention that they're more likely to develop back and joint pain. The mindfulness and sense of grounding brought about during meditation can help you see how much you may be slouching during the day, so you can start to correct your posture regularly.
If you have trouble falling or staying asleep, meditation can help with this as well. Many people find that meditating right before bed can really help calm the body and mind enough to induce restful sleep. This is because meditation relaxes and calms the mind, which can help reduce racing thoughts which might plague you as you try to get some shut-eye.